whiterabbitpresents

How To Be Hopeful Episode 24: “Hope and the Young Voices of The Rebellion “

This week I speak with teen activists Sera Aksoy and Neal Brink, who I met on Parliament Square at the beginning of their year's Extinction Rebellion protests. I witnessed them being shouted at by a middle aged man with a camera person in tow," he chose us because we were the most vulnerable people there... it was upsetting because it is our future" After checking they were ok,  we got talking about why they were there, where they find hope and what they want us adults to do to help them. 

At the end of a week during which young people were being used as scapegoats for the rise in COVID cases, it felt really important to me to listen to young people's hopes and dreams for the future, and what they think we  should do to help them make positive change in the world. We talk abut the power of social media (for good and bad), about how empowering being part of a protest has been for them  " we were all together, fighting for the same cause.... it gave me so much hope... what made us angry and what made us hopeful was the climate crisis" 

I ask them why they choose to be part of the protests " I feel a sense of solidarity with people living in the global south, they're the ones who are going to be the ones hit hardest with climate change... I am standing here for everyone on this planet regardless of whether I know them or not"

They speak about the corrupting nature of a global capitalist system, of the staggering wealth of some individuals who could  end world hunger "but every day chose not to" and of the necessity to redistribute wealth to end inequality around the world. 

Neal and Sera suggest simple, doable and effective ways we could adjust our lives to make a real difference, and Sera added " I am completely begging adults out there... please do look at who you are voting for because it makes such a huge difference" 

They speak abut their involvement in the recent  A level results protests and how the clear change that came about following those protest inspired them to continue their activism. "We saw injustice, and thats something to point out, at all times, no matter if it affects us or not, we have to do something" 

Listening to these amazing young people talk abut their ideas of a future utopia is inspiring and humbling. Let's support and help them! 

Find out more about Extinction Rebellion Youth here:  

Find out more about Fridays For Future here  

My book How To Be Hopeful is out now! You can buy it here and here or in your local independent bookshop, with lots of stories, science, case studies and practical exercises. Find me at www. bernadetterussell.com

twitter: @betterussell

instagram: @bernadetterussell

 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 23 “Theatre of Hope”

This week I speak with Kas Darley and Mark Stevenson, co- directors of theatre company Theatre Vivo. Theatre is one of the industries which has been extremely challenged  as a result of COVID, and I wanted to speak with them about how they have stayed hopeful in the midst of that . Kas and Mark speak about how they adapted during lockdown , including hosting zoom workshops for actors during lockdown to "give people hope and a chance to play". They speak about how they have been encouraged by " a generosity of spirt going on in the cultural world" with people helping and supporting each other. Teatro Vivo creates "immersive, playful work that engages the audience" - in Hight Streets, supermarkets, parks etc.  by making  theatre everywhere they discovered that "everything is extraordinary and there is magic to be found everywhere". Another of their projects "Grimms Collecting Agency" involves collecting stories from members of the public : "people need to be heard... every story is about how humans do amazing things... hearing peoples stories help us understand each other and make communities better" . We also discuss their latest show on Zoom "The House That Slipped" a time travelling adventure in which a kind of utopia is discovered and the audience are invited discovered what they hope for the future and how we get there. We talked about what they had discovered as a result of story collecting and speaking with people about their hopes during lock down: "people are looking out for each other and being more community focused- they might feel powerless abut the big things but they can affect their street...you need people to do the little stuff... to be part of that ecosystem of fight and change"

You can find out more about Teatro Vivo here: https://www.teatrovivo.co.uk 

My book "How To Be Hopeful" is out now! 

You can buy it here

or here 

or best of all at your local independent bookshop! 

More soon

Bernadette

 

How To Be Hopeful episode 22 “No one is too small to make difference”

This week I chat with 12 year old climate activist Thierry Spall, who became an environmental campaigner when he was only 8, after watching David Attenborough programmes abut the devastating effects and realising "it was real and I had to do something". I chatted with Thierry abut his campaigns at school, his fundraising and his involvement in Extinction Rebellion, at the beginning of their 2020 October Rebellion- a series of actions and protests to highlight the climate and ecological emergency. He spoke about how "everyones voice does count and should be listened to"  but that "I don't think we should bring the full burden down of everything onto people who are still young" We met on Tuesday 1st September at Parliament Square, when Thierry and lots of other children and young people were delivering their letters of concern and demands to the British Government. Thierry's commitment to positive change at such a young age gave me such huge hope for the future, and listening to him is a timely reminder of our responsibilities to ensure all young people and the planet get the future they deserve. Thierry is currently making his own wildlife documentary "Doorstep Nature" encouraging people to find and observe nature close to home. His advice to us grown ups? "listen more to nature.... notice if what we are doing has a drastic effect or a positive impact on the environment... and change"

You can find out more about Extinction Rebellion here: https://extinctionrebellion.uk 

My book "How To Be Hopeful" is out this Thursday 10th September! 

You can pre - order it
or find it in your local independent bookshop
 
More soon and I hope you have a great week!
 
Love Bernadette 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 21 “Labours of Love”

This week I chat with the fantastic Gaylene Gould, cultural ambassador for London, creative director, presenter, cultural critic, interview host and writer. We chat about many things, including how hope and despair can and do exist alongside each other, how important it is for us all to accept "we are flawed... we will always be doing stupid stuff and we will always be doing amazing stuff"  and how we must "have love for the fact that we are idiots, truly embracing the dark AND the light in us" ... which can then unlock "a deep well of hope"

We chat about Gaylene's journey as an artist  "a black girl from a council estate who didn't leave school with much"-  her time at the BFI as head of programming, her love of curiosity "the only thing we should guided by" and her passion for London.

In response to Black Lives Matter, Gaylene with friends and collaborators, began a project called Labours of Love- highlighting and championing black racial justice organisations in the UK, because, as she says "I wanted to give and I wanted to know who to give to."

We conclude by discussing utopia, and Gaylene's hopes for a future whose "chief rate of exchange would be love"

To find out more about Gaylene's work go here

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is  out 10th September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 20 “This Grief Thing”

(warning: contains strong language only suitable for adults)  

In this week’s episode I discuss grief and hope with co-artistic director of arts organisation Fevered Sleep David Harradine from his home in Yorkshire.

David spoke beautifully about where he found hope “on Tuesday …. I saw a rose coloured starling … about a mile from where I live in a cherry tree eating unripe cherries... so when you asked me about hope I thought about the possibility of something tiny and incredibly  fragile can have somehow got thousands and thousands of miles away from home… and that its arrival was a source of joy.. “

David spoke about the death 8 years ago of his beloved sister Julie, and of his and his parents experience of grief and other people reactions to their grief. This led to the beautiful project “This Grief Thing” in which David and his fellow co-director Sam Butler  created a space for people to come and be and talk about grief, in a shop where people could also buy t shirts and cards things saying things like “Don’t Panic if I Cry” or “Grief Equals Love” . David speaks about their intention to spread the message that the experience and expression of  grief is both normal and heathy. He speaks about the joy he found in the oak tree planted on his sisters grave, which contains her, sustains life and maintains her as a physical presence in his life.  

We discuss how hope can co-exist with grief, as can joy, happiness and anger. We talk also about the transformative power of art and imagine an alternative reality in which RuPaul appears to cave people in ancient times and tells them “Good luck and don’t fuck it up”!

There is always hope  says David, because “the default setting of the world is beauty… like the rose coloured starling… and what is bad can always be recycled into good… on an atomic or on a global level…. even bad wicked and stupid people can turn into oak trees…given time”

You can find out more about Fevered Sleep here: https://www.feveredsleep.co.uk

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 19: ““How can we make the world better? Start small”.

How To Be Hopeful Episode 19: “How can we make the world better? Start small”.

In this week’s episode, I speak with Trina Lynskey, early years education consultant , London Green Spaces Commissioner and  Chair of DeptfordFolk  park users group.

We speak about the about the power and effectiveness of taking action for positive change in your neighbourhood, and about the impact of the coronavirus on children.

Trina speaks about where hope lies for her: “ I am hopeful …that there is a huge cohort of very professional people who are looking out for children and will do their best to make it good”

She speaks about how impressed she is by the way that schools and teachers have responded to the situation: “they’ve done an incredible job, the way the school was organised …everything felt really relaxed and chilled, and I thought we have to come out of this in a better place “

Trina added that it “ made me really happy … that in the most extreme difficult circumstances, especially at the start when we didn’t know the extent of what we were facing.. that those teachers went to school and made it safe “

Trina speaks about how DeptfordFolk  park users group came about,  and how much has been achieved by them since. She encourages anyone to do the same, however small, “Tiny interventions can make a huge impact and difference. How do we make the world better? … you can find a little nook in your local area and make a huge difference …  it could be as simple as watering a street tree or planting some flowers around that tree pit or… something to improve that very small bit of where you live “

We consider the fact  that some things you have to “fight fight and fight for”  and the importance of self-care and resilience to avoid burn out.

We also speak about the future of cities, and Trina quotes Enrique Peñalosa (Former Mayor of Bogota) who said, children are a kind of indicator species, if we can build a successful city for children, we will have a successful city for everyone.”

Information about DeptfordFolk can be found here:

https://www.deptfordfolk.org

twitter: @deptfordfolk

facebook: facebook.com/deptfordfolk/

Instagram: @deptfordfolk

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

 

A Manifesto of Care by Bernadette Russell and friends

A Manifesto of Care by Bernadette Russell and friends was

A Manifesto of Care by Bernadette Russell and friends was commissioned by Frequency Festival 2019 as part of the OP Care commissioning Partnership. The OPCARE Commissioning Partnership comprises research teams from the University of Brighton (Lead Researcher), University of Lincoln and University of Birmingham and arts organisations Fabrica, Ikon gallery and Frequency Festival and funded by Wellcome Trust (Research Enrichment).
 
Words Bernadette Russell
Music by Dez Moran
Artwork Dan Thompson
With thanks to Lindsay Seers, Dominic Campbell, Rebecca Swift (Entelchy Arts) Samantha Lindley (Director of Programmes Threshold Studios)

Words Bernadette Russell

Music by Dez Moran

Artwork Dan Thompson  

With thanks to Lindsay Seers, Dominic Campbell, Rebecca Swift (Entelchy Arts)

 

The full manifesto can be found here: 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 18 “Hope and Revolution”

In this week’s episode, Chris Williams shares his experience of living in Beirut, witnessing revolution, government change and the recent tragic explosion which caused huge devastation, deaths, and left over 300 000 people homeless.

Chris shares his stories about the vibrancy and warm heartedness of Lebanon

“ this country is…. .a great place to be and the overwhelming thing for me is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you have come from the people here are so welcoming … their sense of warmth and hospitality and being welcoming is amazing”

Chris talks through his and his partner Gemma’s experience of the aftermath of the explosion and witnessing incredible acts of kindness and generosity as people immediately tried to look after each other…Chris tells the story of of how  their foster cat Mouse was rescued by Animas Lebanon, and his and Gemma’s gruelling 45 minute walk through the rubble of a ruined city “ full of lots of injured people,  lots of panicked people,  lots of scared people” but how the return journey took him by surprise: “What I expected to be an upsetting trip back was actually heart-warming and moving because … the streets were just full of people… who had come straight there to help.. to do what they could… bringing manoushe (a traditional Lebanese breakfast) …. , hundreds of people giving bottles of water out, asking do you need somewhere to stay…  everyone pulling together in this really bleak time”

We speak about  the hope that rises when we bear witness to this, that even at the absolute worst of times people try to help each other

Chris feels hopeful for the future of Lebanon: “When the people come together to demand something…  they are so powerful – when everyone is one speaking with one voice and demanding change …  that shows real hope to me because  I think there can be change … …. there is so much hope in the country and so much potential “

Here are some examples of places to donate

Lebanese Red Cross are focused on medical and rescue efforts - https://www.supportlrc.app/donate/

Impact Lebanon are providing shelter for displaced people - https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/impact-lebanon?utm_term=dXEJkepP7

Amel are providing food, medical support, rehabilitation and psychological support / therapy - https://www.gofundme.com/f/emergency-fund-for-lebanon?fbclid=IwAR3HSzw-mL-p4_XOU5ftrj7dj_xNZYzgaA5NaqBnUa8ub7aYDXsDMebwMVA

Animals Lebanon are also doing really great stuff rescuing animals from the rubble - https://www.animalslebanon.org/donate

Here is the Guardian article with more recommendations:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/06/beirut-explosion-how-you-can-help-lebanon-victims-fund-donate-donations-food-relief?fbclid=IwAR0-VuiqdfJSAb7uu_xgpaxgsHf_9n5adW3LwacmuOrSLVfOqpPmIumTKCE

Sources of information about the region : https://www.arabnews.com \

https://www.aljazeera.com

More soon!

Love Bernadette

My book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out September 2020. This podcast series is a chance for me to chat again to some of the people who I interviewed for the book, as well as some people who I didn't have the chance to. I hope you enjoy it. 

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell insta @bernadetterussell 

facebook https://www.facebook.com/bernadetterussellwrites/ 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 17 “Hope Is A Forest”

This episode I speak with artist Evgenia Emets from her home in Portugal about hope and her project Eternal Forest. We speak about the joy and  peace to be found in forests, and of Evgenia’s plans to create 1000 “Eternal Forest Sanctuaries” which will last for 1000 years, and about her hopes for a “quieter world” which we may look forward to

 

Eternal Forest is an ongoing long term art project which, Evgenia explains “will continue as long as I am alive and beyond” wherein we can “treat these spaces as sacred and connect with nature in a different way… and learn from nature…. creating these spaces with purposes and intention, with communities … and  protected by them”

 

We speak about the need to let go of patterns in our societies that no longer serve us:

“the idea of a piece of forest being property is something that I believe in the future will not exist… “

 

And we discuss how the lock down gave us a chance to practise and experience different ways of being, and to discover what is important. Evgenia says

“We are conditioned to think that everything has to have a monetary value…  

But there are things in life we can’t put the market value tag on-  like love, nature,  family”

 

We speak about the challenge of burn out for changemakers and activists:

“Sometimes you need to fail really badly… and come out if it with new knowledge….  it is not always about achieving something right here right now - maybe it’s about building a foundation for things to be done by other people”

 

We speak about the importance of joy and of dreaming

“ I look for the dreamtime that has been lost… what is asking me to work with it…  as soon as we make these decisions something magical happens…  nature says ok now I am going to show you things that you really need to see and to learn. This is what comes to you when you are still and quiet for long enough…. So let’s ask ourselves  “how do we do things differently with joy?”

 

About Evgenia:

 

To keep up with Evgenia and Eternal Forest you can find her on socials here: 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Photona/videos?view=0&sort=dd&shelf_id=1

Twitter: @EvgeniaEmets

Instagram: @evgenia_emets

Facebook: @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/eternalforest/ 

 

About Bernadette:

My latest book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out 10thSeptember 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg

AMAZON > https://amzn.to/3iBZSEr

HIVE > https://bit.ly/3e9zPAW

FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell

Instagram  @bernadetterussell 

Facebook @bernadetterussellwrites 

 

 

How To Be Hopeful Episode 16 “There Is Always Hope”

This episode I speak with Penny Pepper “acclaimed wheelchair-using author, poet, performer & disabled activist” about hope and creativity, mental health, stories, swearing, burlesque and nature amongst other things…

 

I was lucky enough to grab a chat with Penny on the weekend she was finishing her latest novel. We spoke about the hope that she finds in nature it’s good for us to not be overburdened by stuff that’s not really important. ... I have swifts that come over my house every day, and I know that they will fly off fairly soon as they are migratory birds … I like the idea that whatever else is going on, next year there’ll be swifts flying over this house

 

We discuss Penny further exploring the positive aspects of performing on zoom and how “ it removes a lot of access barriers whilst still capturing a live experience” about her upcoming life modelling and interview on Isolation Station with Lucien Freud’s model and muse Sue Tilley (details below)

 

We talk about the importance of disabled peoples stories “ any story told starts to break down the clichés and the discrimination….  a greater range of stories expands our experiences of humanity.”

 

Penny talks about the time she rendered Ruby Wax speechless “for about 8 seconds” at the Edinburgh Festival , about learning to value her mental health issues as making her who she is, and about how despite going through very difficult times there are always signs of hope when we need them , from nature, from people doing kind things, from being encouraged by others to persevere and from getting lost in the creative process “like a kind of mindfulness”

 

Penny speaks about her idea of  Utopia which  includes a fairer more equal society (“where we let the Queen retire… she’ll probably be relieved”)  and one in  which “we all have equality and we work towards that… where  everyone’s  lives are valued and we respect our differences as enriching the whole,  but that means understanding that disabled people aren’t just waiting for a cure that’s never going to come… realising that being disabled is  part of the normal experience of humanity “

 

Penny encourages us all to try out anything and everything our hearts desire, ““spread your wings, spread your wheels, spread your mind and try, because there is  always hope, there bloody well is always hope”

 

More soon! 

Love Bernadette xx

 

About Penny:

Penny’s memoir “First In the World Somewhere” is available in all the usual places. Her new book centres around Nancy Jones- a disabled time travelling rebel,

“strong funny and wilful” - to keep up with this and her other work you can find her on socials here: 

:

Twitter: @PenPep

Instagram: @mspennypepper

Facebook: @PennyPepperWriter

 

Isolation Station with Sue Tilley can be found here https://www.isolationstationhastings.co.uk

 

About Bernadette:

My latest book "How To Be Hopeful" published by Elliot and Thompson is due out 10thSeptember 2020. You can pre-order the book in these places:

WATERSTONES > https://bit.ly/2VTGvgg

AMAZON > https://amzn.to/3iBZSEr

HIVE > https://bit.ly/3e9zPAW

FIND YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP > https://www.booksellers.org.uk/bookshopsearch

You can find me here www.bernadetterussell.com

twitter @betterussell

Instagram  @bernadetterussell 

Facebook @bernadetterussellwrites 

 

Play this podcast on Podbean App